Sunday, 24 June 2012

Well the Fallen are the virtuous among us

You can’t turn your back in Scotland at the moment without a new brewery popping up, and one of the newest is Fallen Brewing Co, a.k.a. Paul Fallen, who has moved back home to Stirlingshire to set up shop.

Like a number of new outfits, the beers are getting brewed under contract at Traditional Scottish Ales in, erm, wherever it is they are these days.

Paul let me try some pre-production prototypes of two of his core range: Dragonfly is an amber ale and Blackhouse a smoked porter.

On pouring the Dragonfly it’s rather darker than amber, more deep copper, and fairly murky. It’s nicely aromatic with New World hops; as it warms up the resin becomes more apparent spicy notes of ginger and cinnamon emerge. This is not an aggressive beer but one which rewards careful study.

I can think of ways it might be tweaked, but to be honest it might well come out so different on the professional kit that it’s far too early to criticise it. I definitely think it will be a decent pint, though maybe doesn’t have enough to distinguish it from competing brews.

Blackhouse smoked porter on the other hand is an instant classic and the type of beer that might turn out very well from TSA, whose own beers all seem to be on the sweet side. Smokiness is subdued; the main flavours are coffee and chocolate and a buttery creaminess. It’s in a border area where he could equally well sell it as a milk stout or even a strong mild.

The first batch of smoked porter is already sold and may be in pubs by the time you read this; the next batch is lined up and all destined for cask. Look out for it.

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